Custom 1969 Boss 429 Mustang

Never give up on a dream

Story Al Rogers - May 01, 2011 09:00 AM


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Creating a one-of-a-kind Mustang in appearance would not have been enough for Joe Graziano. This Pony was designed to be driven and hard.

In 1969, Joe Graziano was 12 years old and growing up on Chicago’s south side. On summer nights, he would lie in his bed until the wee hours of the morning, counting the burnouts as they filled the night air. He dreamed of muscle cars and the 1969 Mustang Mach 1.

By the time he could afford one,

the muscle car era was gone.

Gone, but not forgotten.

Joe and his wife Joan live in Plainville, Illinois. They purchased a very rough 1969 Mustang Mach 1 in 2004 from a seller in Atlanta, Georgia. The odometer read 65,000 miles and was believed to be original. The interior was destroyed, and the sheetmetal was overtaken by rust and filled in with body filler. It had sat in the previous owner’s garage for five years.

The Mach 1 was turned over to Custom Cars Unlimited for a full rotisserie restoration. The initial plan was to create a 1969 “Parnelli Tribute” Mustang fastback, a street car with the look of a racetrack-ready Parnelli Jones special.

Custom Cars Unlimited owner Dino Sanchez and his team came up with an idea of their own. They acquired some shots of the Bud Brutsman Mustang created by Chip Foose and the crew at Overhaulin’ and presented the idea of taking on the task of creating something unique and one-of-a-kind with this 1969 Mach 1. Joe’s response, “Do it, but make it different in every way possible.”

The pony was disassembled, media-blasted and analyzed to determine the condition of the structure and foundation. Literally everything except the body shell, roof and dash panel had to be replaced. Using aftermarket parts from various suppliers, the team at Custom Cars Unlimited created a one-of-a-kind “19 Sixty Nine Mustang Fastback.”

The traditional exterior door handles, quarter panel side scoops and decklid key lock hole were removed and altered. Each prior existing opening was filled with metal, leaded and finished to perfection in the shaving process. The front and rear bumpers were tucked into the body opening to give the 19 Sixty Nine Mustang a streamlined, “cleaner-than-factory” appearance. The look is simple and pleasing to the eyes.

The leaner, streamlined body was taken to another level with the application of Glasurit urethane base/clearcoat paint. A world-class black paint finish with clean lines and laser straight panels makes this pony rise above the herd. Hundreds of hours went into the preparation of the body for the paint process.

No details went untouched with the creation of the one-of-a-kind interior. Original replacement interior trim parts have been wrapped in Graphite Gray Recaro leather to match the Ergo-Med seats. Ogden Top and Trim from Berwyn, Illinois, performed the interior trim work.

Creating a one-of-a-kind Mustang in appearance would not have been enough for Joe Graziano. This pony was designed to be driven and hard. Being able to perform on the street and track was the plan all along.

Joe Graziano now owns the “one-of-a-kind muscle car” he once dreamed of as a 12-year-old. He has promised “It will be driven with vigor,” because a next generation 12-year-old may be watching and learn to appreciate real muscle.

Mod List

Gauges: Auto Meter Nexus

Sound System/Electronics: Seven speaker Pioneer head unit with navigation, DVD, satellite radio and back-up camera

Interior: Wood grain replaced with carbon fiber (instrument panel bezel, passenger-side dash panel airbag insert, door panel, quarter panel insert and floor console insert)

Steering Wheel: Billet Specialties Fast Lane wrapped with carbon fiber

Engine: Late model 351 Windsor engine block, bored and stroked to 408 cubic inches (produces 440 Dyno tested horsepower at the rear wheels)

Crank and Rods: Eagle

Heads: Brodix

Carburetor: Demon four-barrel

Serpentine System: Billet Specialties Tru-Trac

Exhaust: Custom Stainless Steel

Radiator: Griffin Aluminum

Transmission: Bowler Performance AOD E/4R70W

Brakes: SSBC four-wheel disc

Wheels: Custom Painted (Carbon Fiber Gray) Billet Specialties Fast Lane